Week in Review: 12/28 – 1/3

Happy 2009 to everyone out there! Let’s take care of the first Week in Review of the new year…

  • The Angels found a replacement for the departed Francisco Rodriguez, when they signed Brian Fuentes to a two-year, $17.5MM deal with a $9MM option for a third. The sudden surplus of closers on the market obviously cost Fuentes, who entered the offseason seeking three years, and $30-40MM. The Angels got him at a nice price. Colorado will receive LA’s #33 pick in the draft.
  • It was an insanely busy week for Cubs fans, so let’s go through it all: First, they’re near a swap of Jason Marquis for Luis Vizcaino with the Rockies. That link also has the scoop on their near-agreement with Milton Bradley (more details for that here). Next, they signed Aaron Miles to a two-year, $4.9MM deal. Speculation that this would allow them to trade Mark DeRosa proved to be spot on, as they sent him to the Indians for three minor league pitchers that same day. This is the second questionable trade Hendry has made this offseason; the Kevin Gregg/Jose Ceda trade awhile back was also highly scrutinized. The Cubs get little in return for DeRosa, who was terrific in 2008. Some were hopeful that this move signaled a rekindling of the Jake Peavy talks, but we heard that deal is still unlikely, and this trade was unrelated. Could they be targeting Brian Roberts again to replace some production?
  • The Nationals could be competition for the Cubs in the Bradley market, but I highly doubt that. The more interesting piece of info on Washington this week was the report that Lastings Milledge could be trade bait prior to the 2009 season. Milledge was impressive in the second half and is immensely talented; I’d imagine the return would have to be quite nice.
  • In other NL East news, the Mets made an offer to Derek Lowe for three years, $36MM. Not surprisingly, Lowe was hardly excited about it. Instead, he’s still said to be seeking $16MM per year. That number seems reachable, but it’s hard to imagine Lowe getting the five years he was initially seeking.
  • The Red Sox reached one-year deals with Brad Penny and Josh Bard this week. Penny will receive an incentive-laden salary with a base of $5MM. Bard’s contract isn’t guaranteed, but has a base salary of $1.7MM with another $800K in incentives.
  • Arizona signed Chris Snyder to a three-year, $14.25MM extension. Nice signing for the D’Backs. Snyder posted an .800 OPS last year and threw out 29% of attempted base stealers.
  • The Giants have emerged as suitors for Manny Ramirez in the past week. We heard they were willing to spend money on C.C. Sabathia, so why not Manny? They need offense more than pitching anyway. San Francisco is said to alse be taking a look at Joe Crede.
  • The White Sox and Orioles are discussing a potential swap of Brian Roberts for Gavin Floyd. Not sure I understand this one from Chicago’s perspective. They’ve trying to get younger, and are now looking to deal one of their best young players from 2008 for one year of Roberts?
  • The Dodgers reworked Andruw Jones’ contract to lower his salary for 2009 to $5MM and give him the $15MM he’s owed over the next five years. The Dodgers will look to trade Jones, who was downright awful in 2008. I can’t imagine much interest given his last two seasons, but if he somehow rebounded, you’d have a massive bargain on your hands and a sure candidate for Comeback Player of the Year.
  • We learned the terms of Willy Taveras’ contract with the Reds: two years, $6.25MM.

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